Rebecca K. McDowell practiced consumer bankruptcy law for several years in the Eastern District of Michigan, representing Chapter 7 trustees as well as consumer debtors, before focusing her career on writing about the law and editing legal content. She has authored bankruptcy articles on Nolo.com and other bankruptcy sites in the Nolo Network. She holds a B.A. in English from Albion College and obtained her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School in Detroit.
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Articles By Rebecca McDowell
If you have a pension and you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can probably exempt at least some of your pension and protect it from the bankruptcy trustee.
If you owe money on your car and you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must decide whether you want to keep your car or surrender it.
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will most likely be able to exempt (protect) some equity in your car, van, truck, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle. If you can exempt enough equity, you'll be able to keep your car.
If you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy and you have debt with a cosigner, your bankruptcy could potentially affect the cosigner.
When you file bankruptcy, each creditor (the person or company to which you owe money) has a claim against your bankruptcy estate. This means that if there's any money in your estate, the bankruptcy trustee will use it to pay the creditors' claims. To get paid, each creditor must file a proof of claim form indicating how much you owe and the type of debt.
Filing bankruptcy can help you get rid of credit card debt; however, if you use your credit cards excessively knowing you intend to file bankruptcy, the credit card company can accuse you of fraud and take steps to make sure you still have to repay the debt.
Like any court case, a bankruptcy case can be dismissed for various reasons. A judge may dismiss a bankruptcy case with prejudice or without prejudice, but dismissal without prejudice is more common.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges most unsecured debts, like credit cards, and allows you to keep secured debts like car loans and home mortgages if you agree to repay the loans.
Properly valuing your home in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is important. In some situations, your home's value will determine whether you can keep it, or whether you can strip junior mortgages off. Here's how to value real estate in bankruptcy.
Valuing your car, van, truck, motorcycle or other vehicle is an important part of a bankruptcy case; when you file for bankruptcy, you must include a list of everything you own and how much each item is worth.